Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards talk pressure facing the Kings

We’ve already posted comments from Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown and Simon Gagne gathered at today’s media session with the LA Kings. Now, here’s the final batch of quotes…

Q. What is the mood in the room?
ANZE KOPITAR: You failed a couple times now. We all know how big this is. It would certainly be nice to finish it off at home and get it done.

Q. What do you tell the fans right now who you know are dying with you?
ANZE KOPITAR: As I said, it would be really nice. But it’s going to take a big effort from everybody to finish it off.

Q. Is there anything you need to do better in Game 6?
ANZE KOPITAR: Just stay a little more consistent. I thought we had a pretty good period last night, but then we got away from it a little bit. That’s probably the case. When you do go down, you try to do a little extra stuff, you go away from your program. Just staying on the program, playing 60 minutes, more than that if we need to.

Q. Talk about the challenge of not letting any doubts creep in.
ANZE KOPITAR: Yeah, I mean, we’re still in obviously a really good spot. If somebody would have told us that we were going to go up 3-2 going home to have the chance to close it out, I think everybody would sign that paper. It’s just a matter of going out there and getting it done.

Q. Before you had two opportunities and haven’t done it. Is there a little more pressure?
ANZE KOPITAR: No, not really. We just feel both games could have gone either way. Yeah, we knew they were going to come out with a lot of desperation, a final push. We didn’t quite get it done. Now we know they’re going to be a desperate hockey club again and we have to match that.

Q. Offensively you have not had the offense you had in the first three games in this series. What can you do?
ANZE KOPITAR: Just stay with it really. We’ve had some good chances. We’ve hit the post quite a bit of times last couple games. Making chances again. Making sure when we create them, we have to finish them off.

Q. What about Marty?
ANZE KOPITAR: He’s playing well. He’s not one of the best goaltenders in the league for no reason. We have to find a way to beat him.

Q. Now that you’ve played five games, can you talk about how much fun this has been.
ANZE KOPITAR: Yeah, it’s fun. Obviously, everybody wants to play hockey this time of the year. Hopefully it’s not going to be for too much longer.

Q. Drew Doughty was pretty adamant about the biggest stage of your life, Game 4, family, a lot going on. He thought maybe the team had a tough time not getting distracted by the greatest moments of your lives potentially. Can you discuss trying to juggle everything and win.
MIKE RICHARDS: Well, it’s tough. You get a lot of texts and calls. People want to come and be a part of it. At the same time it’s something you have to handle as a professional, limit distractions, focus on the game.

Q. On the other side of that, how much fun are you having with this entire challenge?
MIKE RICHARDS: I wish it was over, but… It’s fun. The process is fun. Everyone was nervous for Game 4. Now we’re back to having fun again like we were through the whole playoffs and the season. We were nervous before. I thought we played a pretty good game last night, but didn’t get the result that we wanted. We’re going to do the same thing we’ve done all year, try to get better every game.

Q. Do you think you were putting the cart in front of the horse a bit?
MIKE RICHARDS: I don’t know what that means.

Q. Thinking about the outcome, what was to come too much.
MIKE RICHARDS: Maybe. Cart before the horse? (laughter) It’s something that you have to handle. Something you have to go through. Obviously we would have liked to have won one of the last few games, but we’re in a situation where we can still be better. We have to be better to beat their team because it seems like they’re getting better, too. We just have to bring our best game tomorrow night.

Q. Beginning of the series there’s been a lot of talk about Quick. Lately more talk about Martin Brodeur. You had some great chances. Discuss beating a guy who has quite a history in the game.
MIKE RICHARDS: He seems to be seeing a lot of pucks. That’s our fault as forwards not getting to the net as much, shooting from a distance. There’s things you can do better. We’re going to look at that today, try to get better tomorrow. We have to make his life more difficult without taking penalties. There’s a fine line there we have to walk with not getting in his way, not putting ourselves in positions where Marty can draw that penalty with what he does.

Q. It’s only human nature that some doubt would start to creep in a little bit. How do you deal with that?
MIKE RICHARDS: Well, I don’t think so. We’re a confident bunch. We obviously wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have the confidence. It’s just a matter of playing hockey and getting better. We set out a goal at the beginning of the year to get better every game. We’re still playing, so we’re still hoping to get better.

Q. You knew how hard it was going to be.
MIKE RICHARDS: It’s the Stanley Cup Final. If it was easy, everybody would have the Cup. It’s not easy. It’s one of the toughest things you’re going to have to go through. At the same time, if you work for it, it’s going to be rewarding.

Q. Is there more pressure now?
MIKE RICHARDS: I think the only pressure you have is the pressure that’s in the dressing room, looking at the guy beside you, see how hard he’s worked. It’s something you want to do for him, not for everybody else that’s trying to put the pressure on you. We put a lot of pressure on each other as players. We expect the best of each other. I’d rather have the guy beside me expect the best than going out there thinking I’m going to be average. There’s a lot of pressure we put on ourselves, but we don’t get a lot of pressure from outside.

Links to additional player quotes, as well as our pre and post-game videos from yesterday, can be found in the ‘Recent Posts’ section near the top right corner of this page.

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